Pithophora, or horsehair algae, is a filamentous alga that thrives in hard water, using the calcium to create a chitin– like the exoskeleton of a bug. This chitin ensures that typical solvents are only able to “burn” the top of the Pithophora mat, allowing the akinete, Pithophora’s base cell, and below layers to recover quickly. In the Naturalake Biosciences lab our microbiologist grows and studies Pithophora specimens for product testing. We are constantly trying to improve our products that complement algaecidal Pithophora treatments and expand our knowledge of the alga. It was this work that originally led to the adjuvant PondZilla Pro.
PondZilla Pro is an all-natural catalytic technology that is designed to recycle nutrients from dead organic matter. This product is designed specifically to add to algaecide treatments of green algae, aquatic plants, and Pithophora. Although our products do not kill anything, PondZilla Pro will boost algaecides so they can reach and kill the akinete and degrade dead organic matter. This treatment is followed up with a dose of MD Pellets to digest what is left.
The applicators for the pond below used this exact formula to kick the algae out of their pond.
Pithophora in a Texas HOA Pond
The operators of this 3-acre retention pond in Texas discovered that Pithophora isn’t a problem that goes away on its own; it finds an environment it likes and keeps coming back. Last year they had an outbreak of Pithophora they thought they had contained, only to have it show up again a few months later. The picture above on the left shows how extensive the second outbreak was. They came to Naturalake Biosciences for testing, which indicated that the pond was being attacked by not only Pithophora, but Oedogonium and Calothrix as well. Testing also showed excessive levels of ammonia, phosphorus, and nitrogen. The high nutrient levels, along with the foot of muck on the bottom of the 4ft deep pond are what made it such an attractive home for the invading algae. To combat this situation, we suggested the operators add PondZilla Pro to the tank with their algaecide and throw in MD Pellets a couple weeks later to remove nutrients. They ended up with something they hadn’t had in quite a while: a crystalline pond worthy of postcards. While the PondZilla Pro boosted the effectiveness of the algaecide and cleaned up the dead debris, the MD Pellets were able to absorb the extra nutrients in the water.